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Ian Benz (May 2014 - August 2014)

Name: Ian Benz

School:  Missouri University of Science and Technology (University of Missouri-Rolla)

Major: Computer Engineering

Co-op period: May 2014 - August 2014

Current school/company and what you do:

I have 1 semester left to finish my degree at Missouri S&T.

Current Location:
Rolla, MO

What was the interview process like?

Since I was a previous co-op I was able to get in touch with my supervisor directly about working for the summer.

What did you do?

I was fortunate to be able to continue the main project from my last co-op period at Hunter which was creating a robotic regression tester for the wheel alignment system.  I was able to work extensively with ARM microcontrollers, hardware design, and different types of sensors.

Would you do it again?

Absolutely.  Hunter is a good place to co-op.

What did you like?

I really enjoyed being able to revisit a project after gaining another year's work of knowledge.  I feel like I was able to make many more improvements to system and also identify and address some shortcomings of my previous work.  I really enjoyed working on a project that involved embedded systems and robotics.

What did you not like?

The housing stipend is not enough to cover expenses, and having only 45 minutes for lunch is a little short to go anywhere.

Did you learn anything?
I was able to learn a lot more about designing embedded systems, firmware for microcontrollers, and PCBs.  I also learned about the importance of designing software to be expandable and maintainable in the future.

Did the experience help you in your career?
I believe it will.  I'm much more confident in my knowledge and abilities now.


Did it help you in any job interviews?
Yes, it has given me significantly more real-world experience to talk about with an employer.

What was the dress code?
Standard business casual.  You never have to wear a tie where you work.

Was the work more individual or group work and how does it compare with what
you are doing today?

For my project I was able to collaborate closely with a full-time engineer, but we each took responsibility for different areas.

What are the pros/cons of working in Saint Louis? (Maybe compare it to where you
are now)

St. Louis is a fun city with plenty to do while you are working.  We were able to receive company tickets for Cardinal's baseball and The Muny during the summer.

What were your living arrangements during co-op?

I lived in a small apartment in Clayton near the intersection of Clayton Road and Big Bend.  It was convenient for getting to work and to different places in the city.

How was the supervision?

Working for Dave was great. He doesn't over-manage, but he's always willing to help or answer questions or share a life lesson with you.

Anything else you'd like to tell us about yourself?
I'm very happy I was able to be a work at Hunter again.  It is nice to work at a place where it felt like my efforts were making a difference to the company.  I would strongly recommend looking at Hunter for a co-op.